Caroline Tung Richmond Quotes
“Charlie glanced at the poster hanging on the door, which announced the store's annual Hungry Ghost Festival, just four days away. It used to be Charlie's favorite holiday, from the puppet shows at the community center to the paper lanterns that his mom hung outside and to the food- especially the food. Sautéed pea shoots. Roasted duck. Pineapple cakes that fit into the palm of your hand. Then there was his grandma's shaved ice with all the toppings- chopped mangos, condensed milk poured on thick, and her famous mung beans in sugary syrup. He could eat a whole bowl of those.”
“After Mrs. Ma hurried off, Charlie tested the shaved ice and glanced at the spirits drifting into Hungry Heart Row. They'd been pouring in since dawn, wandering through the stalls that each participating restaurant had set up, clustering around a fragrant Crock-Pot of ash-e-reshte and platters full of pumpkin tamales. Across the street, Lila from the local pastelería was unboxing dozens of conchas and novias, each one more brightly colored than the last.
Charlie got to work setting out the fixings. Assembling a bowl of shaved ice was a lot like making an ice cream sundae. Just replace the ice cream with slivers of ice and cover them with toppings that take on a special Asian flair- grass jelly, chunks of mango or sliced strawberries, and Waipo's mung beans in syrup.”
“With the whip adequately cracked, the three of them formed an assembly line to fill each mold with dough and sweetened pineapple before pinching the edges together and placing the little cakes onto a cookie sheet that slid promptly into the oven. They crowded around to watch the squares turn golden until Waipo deemed them ready. She let them cool a touch before cutting one into thirds for them to taste.
"They're hot," she cautioned.
Andie took the smallest of bites. "Holy cow. This is incredible."
The filling burned Charlie's tongue, but he had to agree. Waipo's pineapple cakes were the stuff of legend, and this particular batch tasted extra special. The crust was perfectly flaky, and the filling had hit that sweet spot of not too sugary and not too tart.”